This year might be closing off with a religious bang as a long-awaited papal visit by Pope Francis could finally be happening.
After cancelling his previous visit that was set for May, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pope today spoke about his plans to come to Malta during an interview with Spanish radio station Cope Radio.
“Slovakia is on the programme, then Cyprus, Greece and Malta,” he said.
Italy’s Rai 1’s 8am news also spoke about the Pope’s apostolic visit to Cyprus, Greece, and the tiny island of Malta.
The exact date of his visit has yet to be publicly confirmed, with some believing it will happen on 20th/21st November, while other media reports say it will happen in December.
According to internal sources from the government of Cyprus, a papal visit will take place in Cyprus in December. However, it remains unclear whether the Malta visit will be combined with the Cyprus visit.
Speaking to the Times of Malta, a Curia spokesperson said they’ll make an announcement once the visit is publicly confirmed.
“This decision will also consider the COVID situation to ensure the health and safety of the Holy Father, the faithful and all those involved, as the Church has always done in consultation with the health authorities,” they said.
Pope Francis will be the third pope to visit Malta.
The first visit took place in 1990 when St John Paul II came to visit and was given a warm welcome. He again returned in 2001 to beatify Dun Gorg Preca, Sr Adeodata Pisani, and cleric Nazju Falzon. A ceremony was held at the Granaries in Floriana.
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI visited Malta back in 2010 and held a private audience with Maltese sex abuse victims that had suffered under the hands of priests.
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